Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – A Democratic Party executive said on Tuesday that the party has relinquished its ambition to nominate Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono as a vice-presidential candidate, following its decision to join a new coalition.
As a new member of the coalition supporting Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto's nomination for the upcoming February presidential election, the Democratic Party's influence in proposing Agus as a running mate has diminished.
"Our chance to have AHY as the running mate is not as strong as when we belonged to the previous coalition, which we helped co-build," said Herman Khaeron, the party's head of the membership and organizational management division, referring to Agus by his initials.
Initially, the Democratic Party formed a coalition with two other parties to nominate former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan for president, with the hope that Agus would become his running mate.
However, Anies unexpectedly selected an outsider as his vice-presidential candidate, leading the Democratic Party to withdraw from the coalition and switch to supporting Prabowo earlier this month.
The Anies coalition could not meet the requirement of having at least 20 percent of House of Representatives seats to nominate a candidate without the Democratic Party's support. This threshold had given the Democratic Party significant leverage in deciding the running mate.
Anies resolved the issue by choosing National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairman Muhaimin Iskandar as the vice-presidential candidate, as the PKB had enough House seats to support his candidacy and avoid being influenced by the Democratic Party.
These unexpected developments resulted in a shift in coalition memberships, with the PKB leaving the Prabowo coalition for Anies, while the Democratic Party did the opposite.
Herman said that the Democratic Party would accept any decision regarding Prabowo's running mate.
"The house was already occupied when we took shelter. We joined a pre-established coalition, so we can only follow the decision on the running mate," he said.